Before the start of the 2014 World Cup, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann shocked the American soccer world by leaving Landon Donvan off the national team roster. Today, Donovan made some waves of his own by announcing his retirement from professional soccer.
"After careful deliberation and many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last year as a professional soccer player,” the 32-year-old Donovan said in a statement released today. “It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the LA Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career."
Donovan went on to thank his family and friends for their support throughout his career. Without them, he said, he wouldn't be where he is today.
"I plan to express my gratitude to everyone in a more detailed manner at a later date," he added. "However, for now, I want to single out the fans. You are the lifeblood of this sport and, without you, none of us would be fortunate to call ourselves professional soccer players in MLS.”
We'll have more about Donovan and his last days on the pro pitch. But for now, here's a rundown of his accomplishments, courtesy MLS:
As of August 7, Donovan has scored an MLS-record 138 goals and recorded 124 assists. He's also the leading scorer in MLS Playoff history with 22 goals and the leading scorer in MLS All-Star history (six goals).
Donovan has won five MLS Cups (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2012), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2005) and two MLS Supporters’ Shields (2010, 2011).
He has been named to an MLS record 14 consecutive MLS All-Star games (2001-2014), the MLS Best XI six times (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), the MLS MVP and won the Golden Boot (2008) as well as being the only two-time MLS Cup MVP winner (2003, 2011). He has been named MLS All-Star MVP twice (2001, 2014).
In international play, Donovan is the USMNT leader in goals (57) and assists (58) and is the only American player to surpass both 50 goals and assists in his career. He has played in three World Cups and has scored five goals, the most by any American player. He is also the only American to win the Golden Ball Award at a FIFA tournament, winning it at the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 1999.
How do you think Landon Donvan ranks among US soccer players? Let us know in the comments section below!